As we all know, life isn't exactly an easy series of events (If you didn't know that - just wait).
Sure it's precious and should be cherished, but it's definitely not a walk in the park, and it most certainly is not downhill both ways.
We mess up. We make people mad, we are hurtful and inconsiderate.
Even unintentionally we are bound to offend someone or not meet expectations. That includes professionally and personally, with both colleagues and friends.
Recently, through all of the bright parts of the holidays and my son's birthday, there have been plenty of cloudy moments. Of course, the overall mood was really bright, and I’m very fortunate to have the time and fun that we had on his break from school.
In his now six-year-old mind, even he understands that you can't please everybody all the time, no matter how hard you try.
And in his infinite young wisdom, he brings forth a very good point.
A home project almost ended with utter frustration and discouragement.
"Just wait awhile and try again dad," he said as I was ready to throw in the towel.
Try again. Huh... What a concept.
I guess that's all we can do when we don't get it right the first time.
When a puzzle piece doesn't fit, you set it aside and move to a different section of the picture.
But you can't finish the puzzle until you try again on that tough piece.
And when you finally do find it's spot, that little victory becomes just as good as finishing the whole thing.
Life has a funny way of giving us plenty of opportunities to try again.
Unlike a puzzle though, the picture is only as complete as we want to make it.
The picture can be huge and take up an entire wall, or it can be a little one that gets put back on the shelf.
When the pieces don't fit just right, we can give up and put it back in the box.
Or we can set that tough piece aside for a second to work on another area before coming back to the one part that helps make the whole picture.
The list of pieces on my life's puzzle that I've thrown to the side to "deal with later" is huge.
But those pieces can't stay there for long.
At some point, be it by my own accord or not, they come up and I have no choice but to deal with them.
To me, just putting those pieces back in the box isn't an option, and it shouldn't be.
Page 2 of 2 - The sooner they get into place, the better. The longer they sit off to the side, the harder they are going to be to fix.
Although I’m not a fan of the idea, I made a New Year’s resolution this week.
No matter what happens on a daily basis, I’m going to keep moving forward. I don’t want to waste time working on that one piece I can’t get to fit.
But I can continue putting the rest of the puzzle together. That way, it’ll be easier when I get down to the point where only the hard pieces are left.
I'd really like to keep the analogy going, but I have a gigantic pile of puzzle pieces that need to find their place in the picture.
Jesse Murphy is managing editor at the Maryville Daily Forum. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org